Since 2010 MacCase has had an industry leading, leather folio style case to protect and transport Apple's iPad tablet computer. While thousands of cases have been sold over the last 8 years, one thing that haunted the MacCase design team was the fact that there has never been an iPad folio case, or iPad Pro case compatible with the smart keyboard. 

Until now. 

MacCase ipad pro case compatible with smart keyboard

Hard at Work on an iPad Pro Case Compatible with the Smart Keyboard

Work began in earnest on 2 keyboard compatible iPad Pro cases last November when the design staff was tasked with finally finding a solution for the keyboard compatibility issue. Initially, all the problems with such a potential design were identified. Then a "best in class" list was created to make sure whatever the solutions that were created for the 10.5 and 12.9, they were going follow in the MacCase tradition of innovation and product excellence. 

After a winter of trial and error, testing and retesting, MacCase is finishing up an iPad Pro case that works with the smart keyboard. These new models for the iPad Pro 10.5 and iPad Pro 12.9 should be available for pre-order shortly.

Customers have been asking for iPad Pro 12.9 and 10.5 keyboard compatible cases for a long time. Several design and engineering elements have prevented the MacCase Premium Leather iPad Pro Folio design from incorporating compatibility with Apple's Smart Keyboard. 

A breakthrough in how the MacCase iPad Pro leather portfolio case holds the tablet in place has allowed the dream of integrating the Apple keyboard into the case to become a reality. This breakthrough will allow MacCase to create what they hope customers will call the "best iPad Pro keyboard case" available from anyone at any price.

Several case companies make keyboard compatible folio style cases and while some are nice, many are awful. All have flaws that impair their functionality or aesthetics which are important to MacCase customers.

Some use very poor materials which last a few weeks then break and need to be thrown away. Some are poorly engineered while others don't really protect the iPad Pro's they are supposedly designed to protect. For this program, MacCase has set out to build the best leather iPad Pro 10.5 and 12.9 keyboard compatible cases, period. 

What Does it Take to Build the Best iPad Pro Keyboard Compatible Case?

Any MacCase Premium Leather model is going to feature the brand's signature "design DNA". This consists of a timeless, yet modern aesthetic, bullet proof build quality and superior materials and functionality.

For the new keyboard compatible iPad Pro cases, the team had to dig deep and pull one out of the hat to solve the problem that had plagued them for many years: How to hold the iPad in the case while still allowing the keyboard to integrate into the case design. 

The answer came in the form of a very special elasto-polymer material that allows the iPad to be securely held in place while still allowing access for keyboard integration. The materials doesn't use any glue or other temporary method to hold the tablet secure. There's nothing to wear out or break. It also allows the customer to easily remove their iPad from the case if they desire. 

Moreover, the new material is excellent for absorbing shock, protecting the vulnerable edges and corners of the iPad Pro while not obstructing the screen in any way. 

Once there was a way to hold either the 10.5 or 12.9 iPad Pro securely in their respective cases and integrate the Apple Smart Keyboard, development accelerated. The features and details of the "Best in Class" list could now be implemented. 

An iPad Pro Case with Pencil Holder, Keyboard and Beyond

Since the introduction of the iPad Pro and more specifically, the Apple Pencil, MacCase Premium Leather Folios have had industry leading protection for the Apple Pencil integrated into front cover of every case. 

Many other manufacturers just added an elastic loop to an edge of their case and called it a day. You put your $100 Apple Pencil into the loop, pick up the case, the Pencil falls out, lost forever and you're out $100. 

Detail of integrated Apple Pencil Pocket on the MacCase Premium Leather iPad Pro folio case

While the original solution of an integrated, front cover Pencil pocket works great for a non-keyboard folio case, there is big problem for an ipad pro case compatible with the smart keyboard that has a pocket sewn into the front cover. It will not lay flat on a table top when unfolded.

This presented another "make or break" design challenge for the MacCase designers. The best iPad Pro keyboard case had to allow the user to type on a flat surface. 

Several additional places to store the Apple Pencil were tried but none as successful as the front cover. But again, the storage of the Apple Pencil in this location would not work with an keyboard compatible iPad Pro case. Unless the Pencil pocket could be removed when the user needed to open the case and type. Hmm.........

Another Smart Keyboard Compatible iPad Pro Case Problem Solved

For many years customers have been asking for features to be added to the MacCase Premium Leather iPad Pro cases, specifically the Folios. These features range from a slot to hold business cards to a place to store a microwave oven so they can heat up their lunch. 

The problem here is how do you add features without increasing the overall bulk of the case? In addition, how can you add features and the associated costs that some people might want and are willing to pay for but not penalize the customers that don't? 

Along with an innovative way to hold the iPads in the case, the new smart keyboard compatible iPad Pro cases will feature 4 accessory options that will greatly expand the functionality of their design. These accessories were created from direct input from hardcore MacCase Folio users.

The best part is that if you don't want them, you don't have to pay for them. If a base case is all you need, there will be no penalty. With these forthcoming designs, you will be able to add the features and options you want and not get stuck (or have to pay for) options you don't. You'll have the freedom to fully customize your case to meet your needs and the freedom not to. 

While I would love to reveal all the aspects of how these new cases will work, they are still under the last of their development. Once pre-ordering begins, we will be doing a full "iPad Pro Case Compatible with Smart Keyboard - Behind the Design" story. 

If you have any specific questions about the function, aesthetics or availability please leave them in the comments below. I will do my best to get you the answers. 

"An iPad Pro case compatible with the smart keyboard is the Holy Grail for MacCase..."




Jody K. Deane
by Jody K. Deane May 07, 2018

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